Installation art is one of the trickiest feats of alchemy an artist can attempt. When three artists collaborate on an installation, their strange process can be sensory gold or visual sludge begging to be flushed.

It is rare to find the research work of a freshman published alongside that of the college president, but Augustana College has done just that, and in a very public way. With its new Origins of Modernity exhibit and the accompanying catalog, Augustana is giving the community an opportunity to experience this innovative educational process.

This Friday is the grand-opening reception for the area's newest art experience, the remodeled Mode Art Gallery located in the Bayer Building at 226 West Third Street in downtown Davenport. The opening reception, starting at 5 p.

The first artwork that could truly be described as "American" grew up in a highly charged age of efficiency, modernization, innovation, and invention. America was a newly emerging world power with a fresh understanding of and appreciation for industry, along with the possibilities of technology, wealth, and a new aesthetic toward art.

If you have not made the time to see 41°/90° at the Figge Museum yet, you have until this weekend to catch an enjoyably diverse group of artists, their explorations with the landscape, and our relationships with it.

Art that incorporates found objects is a tricky path to navigate. Any of us can find a shovel. Most of us can find a shovel and put it on our wall. Where it crosses that line and shifts toward becoming art is in the act of declaring it to be art.

Our fourth photo contest represented a significant departure - both in the framing of the competition and the results. Instead of setting subject-matter limitations - such as previous categories "people" and "Quad Cities places" - we asked readers to submit photographs based on broad but evocative themes: "danger," "metamorphosis," and "liberation.

Attendance for the 16th annual Riverssance Festival of Fine Art in 2003 - the first year the event was presented in conjunction with MidCoast Fine Arts - was estimated at about 15,000 people. But last year's festival drew roughly 12,000 attendees, a number that Riverssance Director Larry DeVilbiss admits was well below expectations.

At Riverssance, collectors and connoisseurs of art have the opportunity to purchase the works they most love, but their creators are competing with one another for more than just a sale. They're also competing for a share in the festival's $3,000 awards purse.

Corrine Smith strikes me as being a very centered person. I say this because the overall theme I see in her current show - at the MidCoast Fine Arts' Bucktown gallery until September 30 with sculptor Matt Moyer - is balance, even though she never uses this word in her artist statement.